As was hoped, Naomi Schaefer Riley was dismissed from her engagement with the Chronicle of Higher Education due to all of the reasons mentioned in my previous post and the outpouring of reader response to the editors, on the boards and their individual blogs on the CHE website. Victory for an active readership.
In her response, Liz McMillen tells us:
We’ve heard you, and we have taken to heart what you said.
We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.
Whew! She goes further, responding directly to one of our chief complaints:
In addition, my Editor’s Note last week inviting you to debate the posting also seemed to elevate it to the level of informed opinion, which it was not. I also realize that, as the controversy unfolded last week, our response on Twitter did not accurately convey The Chronicle’s message.
Though, this sort of stinks of saying that we gave the CHE too much bad publicity with our loud, insistent complaints and not an admission of bad decision making. I’ll take what I can get, though. NSR will no longer write for the paper and I’m sure this will work out for her, too. I suspect there is a blog or commentator position for her in the very near future. One in which she will be free to express as many unsubstantiated opinions as she sees fit without the onus of proof, logic or reasoning.
Covering the Zola-esque débacle, Abby Schachter of the Post (always a supremely trusted news source around the world), writes not one, but two reductive articles on the event. I’d quote her directly, but it is entirely too painful, much like a hastily written composition 101 paper (and that’s about how we should treat these things). So, I’ll summarize that in article one, she accuses us of silencing legitimate criticism in the holy wrapper of racism accusations. In article two, she asserts that NSR was engaged in serious debate and the result was the journal firing her. She says: “And this is supposed to be the premier journal on higher education in America? What a joke. ” Oh, it’s not quite Bovary level irony, but it’ll do.
So, Ms Schachter, I assign your paper a C-, both versions. Praise: You’ve done well in choosing a currently trending topic that has links to a ‘bigger picture’. Problem: You’ve left out all of the salient details from one side of the argument in favor of an apology of racist journalism. Solution: By structuring your argument with a basic thesis/antithesis, you will surely have a stronger case to make.